GoldenEye 007 comes to Nintendo Switch with game-changing new mode

GoldenEye 007
(Image credit: Edge)

Beloved Nintendo 64 shooter GoldenEye 007 is making an imminent return. The classic secret-agent-simulator will be available for Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack members starting January 27.

The influential title set the bar for multiplayer shooters and helped define a generation of FPS experiences. However, developer Rare has enriched the old warhorse with some quality-of-life improvements, including smoother frame rates and higher-resolution graphics. Though also available on Xbox, the Nintendo Switch version includes an exclusive online multiplayer mode – a welcome addition to the GoldenEye experience.  

In order to play this modern iteration of iconic FPS, you’ll need a Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack membership. Nintendo offers a range of pricing options on its website, including a free trial which is well worth checking out if you want to dip your toe into GoldenEye 007 without paying any cash upfront. 

A Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack subscription will also net you access to a range of Nintendo 64 classics, including Super Mario 64 and Zelda Ocarina of Time as well as bonus content for Animal Crossing New Horizons and Mariokart 8 Deluxe.  

You only live twice

The most interesting feature of the latest incarnation of GoldenEye 007 is its online multiplayer functionality. Rare’s FPS was responsible for my formative experiences of the genre. Growing up, lazy summer afternoons were filled with my siblings and me shooting each other to bits in front of the TV. 

Exclamations of joy and defeat were punctuated by cantankerous accusations of “screen-watching” or yet another debate about the ethics of playing as Oddjob, whose shorter stature gave him a smaller hitbox. These were times before the advent of online play, where disagreements were direct, in your face, and, altogether, simpler. 

Unfortunately, not everyone who picked up a Nintendo 64 controller could say the same. Though GoldenEye does boast a fun single-player campaign which, famously, lets you slap Sean Bean silly, the multiplayer was a key component of the experience. Since I was a kid who lived in the middle of nowhere, getting three mates to come ‘round to my house was surprisingly difficult. This meant that, when my siblings were away, I had to settle for single-player. 

Thanks to the new online mode, you can enjoy GoldenEye’s fast-paced PvP action without the need for split-screen buddies to join you in meatspace. It’s a lovely touch and shows that Rare is keen not only on preserving a classic but also on ensuring that it remains playable and fun in a modern context. 

That said, split-screen multiplayer is still very much an option. Though it seems unlikely that this GoldenEye remaster will become a staple Nintendo party game like MarioKart or Smash Brothers, it’s great to know that, should you have the inclination you and your friends can fire up the Switch, settle in for some split-screen and duke it out like it’s 1997.   

Cat Bussell
Staff Writer

Cat Bussell is a Staff Writer at TechRadar Gaming. Hailing from the crooked spires of London, Cat is an experienced writer and journalist. As seen on,, and, Cat is here to bring you coverage from all corners of the video game world. An inveterate RPG maven and strategy game enjoyer, Cat is known for her love of rich narratives; both story-driven and emergent.